Resources of Hope: A narrative inquiry into the potential of children’s literature to foster mutual care in times of crisis

McAdam, Julie E. (2020) Resources of Hope: A narrative inquiry into the potential of children’s literature to foster mutual care in times of crisis. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Due to Embargo and/or Third Party Copyright restrictions, this thesis is not available in this service.
Printed Thesis Information:


This impetus for this thesis emerged from empirical observations of children’s responses to literature on the theme of migration. While the children were able to show compassion for characters in texts, they were not able to transform their hopes for human flourishing into action. By focusing on the role of the teacher, this thesis explores how to support educators working with children’s literature to recognise its potential to evoke change.

The thesis has been framed using Levitas’ utopian method, which manifests itself archaeologically, ontologically and architecturally. The ontological mode establishes that any future action should be based on human flourishing and directed towards an ‘imperative of mutual care’ (Geras, 1998: 60). Archaeologically, the work of multicultural, social justice and critical pedagogues has been examined in order to architecturally create a set of lenses which facilitate utopian thinking. Such thinking enables the identification of resources of hope within children’s literature, which could be used to ignite the future hopes and desires of school communities so that they may engage in transformed ways of thinking and acting regarding persecution, conflict, violence and human rights.

The methodological approach was underpinned by utopian thinking. It allowed for the creation of a transformative space, where the teachers involved in the research could explore (using drama and storytelling) their own vulnerabilities and capacities to care in order to develop a stance regarding their praxis. This aesthetic process was enabled by creating a community of inquiry which supported the teachers to prepare, execute, exhibit and reflect (Thompson, 2015) on how they would select and use children’s literature in their classrooms to generate narratives of change.

The narratives emerging from the early years teachers explored the importance of names and the need to create multilingual classrooms that invite children to incorporate their funds of identity (Esteban-Guitart and Moll, 2014) into the learning process. The narratives emerging from the secondary school teachers focused on displacement and the creation of welcoming spaces for new arrival children in the city of Glasgow. Through the cyclical nature of utopian thinking these narratives can be viewed as further resources of hope, providing cultural, material and conceptual tools for pre-figuring transformative ways of being that allow school communities to challenge the impact of living in times of crisis.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Due to copyright restrictions the full text of this thesis cannot be made available online, Access to the printed version is available once any embargo periods have expired. Links to sections published are available in the Related URLs fields.
Keywords: Children's literature, communities of inquiry, aesthetic process, Utopian thinking, resources of hope, narrative inquiry.
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Supervisor's Name: Arizpe, Professor Evelyn and Robert, Professor Davis
Date of Award: 2020
Embargo Date: 31 January 2024
Depositing User: Ms Julie E. McAdam
Unique ID: glathesis:2020-78998
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2020 15:43
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2023 08:44
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.78998
Related URLs:

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